A Pot of Gold

Each Shot of Satisfaction is related to one of the seven steps back from burnout in the process of REFLECT. My hope is that, by sharing with you how I apply these steps in my daily life, it will help you on your journey to a fulfilling life of caregiving.

Originally published December 7th, 2009 

This Shot of Satisfaction relates to Step 3 – FORMULATE your plan. Recalculate the transaction of care using the Perfect Equation. Free yourself from your hidden agenda.


A Pot of Gold

We work in an environment where we have plenty of challenges. We can’t control others. Nor can we change them. The only thing we can change, and it is not easy, is ourselves. When each of us works towards changing our thinking, seeing our challenges as opportunities, we begin to change our world! – Dr. Frank

“The difference between try and triumph is just a little ‘umph!’”
-Unknown

We are all looking for satisfaction at work. Sometimes we think we know why we don’t have it. We might feel the reason is because our patients have a sense of entitlement or they don’t appreciate what we do. Maybe we feel our co-workers are not team players. Or maybe we feel expectations are too high and it’s impossible to meet everyone’s demands.

No matter what we think the problem is, it all boils down to one single thought: We believe our lack of satisfaction is the result of someone, or something, we routinely encounter which is less than ideal. Moreover, we want someone (other than ourselves), to change, or fix, those less-than-ideal “someones” or “somethings.”

Our thinking tells us that if those undesirable circumstances were removed or changed, we would instantly have job satisfaction. But perhaps it’s our way of thinking that needs to be changed.

Picture yourself standing at one end of a giant rainbow. At the other end is a pot of gold. You want the satisfaction contained in the pot. Now imagine there is a large fence between you and the gold. Did your satisfaction disappear?

No. It’s still there, but now you have to do something to get it. So would you give up and go home? Or would you scale that wall gladly, knowing there are riches waiting for you on the other side? Odds are you would because the fence is simply a challenge – not an impenetrable barrier blocking you from satisfaction.

It is similar for us at work. We want to care for others. This is why we are here. This is also where our satisfaction lies – much like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Those less-than-ideal people and situations are our fences. We need to see them as opportunities for us to get our satisfaction.

Get your copy of "Back from Burnout: Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care" at amazon.com

Get your copy of “Back from Burnout: Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care” at amazon.com

We work in an environment where we have plenty of challenges. We can’t control others. Nor can we change them. The only thing we can change, and it is not easy, is ourselves. When each of us works towards changing our thinking, seeing our challenges as opportunities, we begin to change our world!

TAKE ACTION

Today, and every day, dig deep, reach into your soul; find a way to see the obstacle in front of you for what it is: a challenge. See it as the fence you must scale in order to find a way to care, to make a difference.

With this mindset, you will have access to unlimited amounts of job satisfaction. You will become empowered. You will have scaled the fence and found the way to care for another, and you will get some real and lasting, good old-fashioned, satisfaction.

All the best,
Dr. Frank

 

The Process of Happiness

Each Shot of Satisfaction is related to one of the seven steps back from burnout in the process of REFLECT. My hope is that, by sharing with you how I apply these steps in my daily life, it will help you on your journey to a fulfilling life of caregiving.

Originally published November 4th, 2011 – This Shot of Satisfaction relates to Step 3 – FORMULATE your plan. Recalculate the transaction of care using the Perfect Equation. Free yourself from your unconscious actions and outdated agendas.


How can tomorrow be better?

If we want success, we have to step into the process of generating success. If we want health, we need to step into the process of preparing healthy foods and going to the gym, regardless of the number on the scale or the inches on your waistline. Focusing on the process is where we go from knowing to doing. This is where real change occurs. -Dr. Frank

“Ideas are a dime a dozen… but the man who puts them into practice is priceless.”
-Joe Gandolfo

If I know the proper foods to eat and how to exercise, how come I’m overweight, out of shape and unhealthy? If I know how I’m supposed to behave in a relationship, why don’t mine ever work out? If I know what it takes to have a successful business, why is mine always in the red?

We all know how to live our best life, but knowing isn’t enough. Somewhere between knowledge and practice there is a breakdown…

For me, the breakdown happens because I run around all day long reacting to my environment. I am constantly putting out fires, managing chaos, and allowing myself to be the effect of the people and situations in my environment. I am busy fixing or dealing with problems. My thoughts are generated in reaction to my environment and my body. I am on auto-pilot.

The flaw in “if” happiness thinking

Most of us ask for water when we are thirsty. We ask for a relationship when we don’t have one. We ask for health when we are sick. We ask for success when we are unsuccessful. This is because we are so attached to our environment and outcomes. We believe that when we have the car, the job, the girl, the boy, or the diamond, we will be successful and happy. This is effect-oriented living and there will never be any change in our lives when we live this way.

It is time for you and me to be the cause of a new and better reality for ourselves and for those around us. It is time for us to choose the thoughts we will engage. I know this, but until I let go of my attachment to results and surrender to the fact that I have to do the work, put in the effort and engage in the process, I will stay stuck in the same place of knowing and not doing.

Dr. Srikumar Rao, a colleague of ours, is considered a happiness expert.  He maintains that the reason we are all so unhappy in our Western world is because we all buy into a flawed mental model of how the world operates. According to Dr. Rao, it’s like this: we think we have to get something so that we can do something so that we can achieve something so that we can be happy. In short, we believe that if “this” happens, “then” we will be happy.

To see the flaw in this logic, Dr. Rao asks us to questions ourselves. “What did I want 10 years ago?  What was it I thought I needed to be happy?” If we are honest, we will see that we probably got that “thing” – our degree, the car, the house in the suburbs – and we are probably not much happier now than we were then.

Happiness lies in our process

Dr. Rao then asks us to remember times where we had a blissful, peaceful moment. Maybe we stumbled on a breathtaking scene in nature, a waterfall or a rainbow, or we participated in a joyous moment like the birth of a baby. Can you remember what it was like to see your child take their first steps or utter their first word?

Get your copy of "Back from Burnout: Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care" at amazon.com

Get your copy of “Back from Burnout: Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care” at amazon.com

Dr. Rao brilliantly points out that in these moments we accept the Universe just as it is. Our habitual wanting of another “thing” drops away and our innate happiness surfaces, and we feel it. Even years later we KNOW we felt it because we can still remember it as if it were yesterday. 

These profound moments in our otherwise ordinary lives allow us to feel perfection despite our problems. These moments show us that happiness, satisfaction and success are in the process and not in the outcome.

When we concern ourselves primarily with end results, we experience frustration, angst and all the emotions that are the antitheses of authentic happiness and satisfaction. The obvious solution is to invest in the process. In life, when we give the process everything we’ve got, our attitude changes.  If we arrive at the destination, great!  If not, still great!

When we live this way, every day is amazing.  If we want success, we have to step into the process of generating success.  If we want health, we need to step into the process of preparing healthy foods and going to the gym, regardless of the number on the scale or the inches on your waistline.  Focusing on the process is where we go from knowing to doing.  This is where real change occurs.  It is the only place where we have to power to be the cause of something new or different or better!

TAKE ACTION

Today, I will choose to be the cause.  Today I will not be the effect of my environment or those in it.  Today I surrender to doing the work, exerting the effort to change, and practice my knowing.  I surrender to the process and trust that the outcome will be better, as long as I stay in the process of thinking, speaking and acting better!  My joy will come from my success in the process.  My victory is in the moment.

All the best!
Dr. Frank

 

Seeds of Desire

Each Shot of Satisfaction is related to one of the seven steps back from burnout in the process of REFLECT. My hope is that, by sharing with you how I apply these steps in my daily life, it will help you on your journey to a fulfilling life of caregiving.

Originally published October 5th, 2011 – This Shot of Satisfaction relates to Step 3 -FORMULATE your plan. Recalculate the transaction of care using the Perfect Equation. Free yourself from your hidden agenda.


It’s in our hands

In life, one thing is always true — consistency and effort yields results. When you are clear on what you want, the only thing keeping you from getting it is you.

We decide what we have today. We decide what we will have tomorrow. If we want something different tomorrow, we will have to do something differently today. When we get clear about what we want from our lives and make the  decision that we’ve had enough of what we don’t want, that we deserve more and won’t settle for less, it is time to start working the programs that will get us there.

Desire is our tool. We can use our desire to help us decide what matters most to us, what we will focus our energies on and ultimately what we will have. When we are clear on what we want, we are willing to do whatever it takes and no amount of effort seems too great.

Our desire is the seed. We have to nurture that seed of desire and help it grow into our deepest longings. We can’t just plant it and forget it. We will have to exert real effort. We need a plan, a program to bring it to bloom. Some programs are more powerful that others. Your finished product will only be as good as the program you used to create it.

Get your copy of "Back from Burnout: Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care" at amazon.com

Get your copy of “Back from Burnout: Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care” at amazon.com

What is the best program for creating positive change in our lives?  Perseverance, consistent effort and delayed gratification. It is a simple, tried and true formula for success. In life, one thing is always true — consistency and effort yields results. When you are clear on what you want, the only thing keeping you from getting it is you.

Whatever it takes!  No giving up!  No giving in! Wake up to your desire every day, nurture it and, no matter what, do the work to make it grow to it’s fullest potential. No excuses. Remember, if you aren’t seeing the results you desire, you simply are not doing the work.

TAKE ACTION

This week, make the commitment to do whatever it takes to realize your goals. One step at a time: slow, methodical and consistent. Some days it will be about the watering and other days about the fertilizer. It is all about staying committed to the process.  When the seed you plant today is finally ready for harvest, you will have satisfaction down in spades!

All my best,
Dr. Frank

What Do You Want?

Each Shot of Satisfaction is related to one of the seven steps back from burnout in the process of REFLECT. My hope is that, by sharing with you how I apply these steps in my daily life, it will help you on your journey to a fulfilling life of caregiving.

Originally published September 29th, 2011 – This Shot of Satisfaction relates to Step 3 -FORMULATE your plan. Recalculate the transaction of care using the Perfect Equation. Free yourself from your hidden agenda.


What do you want?

Stop, take a deep breath and ask yourself, “What do I really want?” “What is my desire?” Once you are clear about what you want, you can make the plan to get it for yourself. This is how you create your own satisfaction. This is how you live a life that matters. – Dr. Frank

I don’t know about you, but most days I can be driven to distraction. It seems I never have enough time. I get so overwhelmed by my “to-do” list that I lose sight of the big picture.

Let’s face it, we all lead busy lives with responsibilities and obligations. But we can be busy working very hard and still go nowhere.

From time to time, we need to zoom out and take a look at what we’re busy doing. We need to stop, breathe, and ask ourselves why we’re doing it. What’s the point? Do I have a goal? What do I really want from my life?

You know all too well what happens to our computers when we run too many programs, or have too many windows open. The machine runs slower and slower until, eventually, it hangs or crashes. When we notice this happening, we save our work, and then shut down, reboot and start fresh. Then everything seems to go just fine.

Get your copy of "Back from Burnout: Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care" at amazon.com

Get your copy of “Back from Burnout: Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care” at amazon.com

This week is the perfect opportunity to reboot. Stop, take a deep breath and ask yourself, “What do I really want?” “What is my desire?” Once you are clear about what you want, you can make the plan to get it for yourself. This is how you create your own satisfaction. This is how you live a life that matters.

TAKE ACTION

This week, stop, breathe and ask yourself, “What do I want?” Write it down. Make a list. What matters to you? Clearly state your desire. Then, make a plan and commit to do whatever it takes!

If we want to get somewhere in life, we need to know where we are going. Once we know the destination, it’s simple.

So, what do YOU really want?

All my best,
Dr. Frank

Make it about Them

Each Shot of Satisfaction is related to one of the seven steps back from burnout in the process of REFLECT. My hope is that, by sharing with you how I apply these steps in my daily life, it will help you on your journey to a fulfilling life of caregiving.

Originally published September 21st, 2011 – This Shot of Satisfaction relates to Step 3 -FORMULATE your plan. Recalculate the transaction of care using the Perfect Equation. Free yourself from your hidden agenda.


Make it about them

When I am feeling unloved and unappreciated, I just need to stop my reactive beast within and reconnect to my passion. I need to be caring to feel cared for. That means giving to others exactly what I am looking for myself. On my path to satisfaction, I need to be the friend I want to have. -Dr. Frank

Everything in the Emergency Department carries a sense of urgency. There are always too many patients and never enough patience. Everyone thinks their crisis trumps everyone else’s. Emotions are raw, anxiety is high and chaos reigns supreme. Maintaining your composure is tough for everyone whether you’re a patient, a family member, a medic, a secretary, a nurse, a nurse practitioner, a physician assistant, a doctor, or – God help you—the “charge” nurse.

If you are part of the staff in a busy ED, everyone seems to look to you for answers and they want them NOW.  Everyone has a problem that they are looking for you to fix. The upside of this is that we are great problem solvers. We enjoy fixing things for others. Solving problems actually makes us feel good. But sometimes, in the heat of the moment, because of an attitude or the tone in someone’s voice when they demand our help, we can, on occasion, lose it. When this happens, we really do lose it all.

When we lose our composure, we often take our frustrations out on each other. Even worse, sometimes we take it out on the patients who push our buttons. “I can’t believe she is talking to me that way.” This one is demanding, that one is incompetent, the other one is lazy, and yet another is stubborn and inflexible. No matter which one of our buttons is being pushed, our automatic reactive behavior is to judge the other as wrong. We say to ourselves, “I won’t let them treat me that way! I deserve better!”

“I deserve” comes from our sense of entitlement. Unfortunately, entitlement is a dead end – at work or in any relationship – if we want to find satisfaction. “I deserve” awakens the reactive beast within. The war is on and we set out to prove we are right. We may internalize our hurt feelings and act out in passive-aggressive ways. This only magnifies our frustration and disconnects us from acting on our desire to care for others. We end up in a “no-win” situation, where nobody gets what they want.

I always say that appreciation is the antidote for the downward spiral of entitlement, and it is. Anytime we stop appreciating what we have, we lose it. We become like stagnant cesspools of water, full of toxins and dank energy. But I’ve realized that all the appreciation in the world might not be enough if we are not able to connect back to our true desire to care for others.

When we feel frustrated, upset or unappreciated, it means we are filled with incongruent wants or desires. To get back on track, any time we feel our buttons have been pushed and can sense that the beast within is rising to the surface, we need reconnect to our original desire to be here and figure out exactly what is getting in the way of what we really want. For those of us who chose this profession, our fulfillment comes from the care giving itself and to achieve it, we need to be the cause of our own satisfaction, rather than the effect of another’s actions.

In order to be the cause, we need to stop and ask ourselves, “Do I want to be right? Do I want to feel hurt and disrespected? Do I want to be angry or depressed? Do I really want to be the effect of another’s careless words or deeds? Or, do I want to be happy, energized, motivated and joyful in my work?”  Once we ask ourselves these questions, we begin the process of untangling and reconnecting with our true desires.

Getting satisfaction from what we do every day depends on being clear on what we really want. When we are clear it is much easier to be the cause of our own happiness. If we are in in the Emergency Department, we chose to be caregivers. In relationship to our patients and our co-workers, our spouses, our children and our friends, we want to care for them and know that our care makes things better.  And that is all we really want.

When our simple desire to care has been corrupted by us becoming the effect of our environment, we begin to attach all sorts of conditions to our caring. We want a thank you, we want flawless teamwork, competent co-workers, happy co-workers, grateful patients. The list goes on and on. Our original desire to care becomes conditional on others behavior. Suddenly we can only care if we are treated with respect and we will give care only on our terms.

By attaching these conditions to our initial pure uncorrupted simple desire to create our own happiness and joy through our caring, we have given our power to create satisfaction for ourselves away. Our satisfaction becomes dependent on the other’s behavior or reaction. This just doesn’t work. We all know that we cannot control the way others behave. When we cede control to our unconscious reactive behavior, our world can become one of co-dependency, addiction, chaos, and pain and suffering.

When I am in trouble and I want a friend’s help, I want them to be kind, caring, patient, compassionate and steadfast in their resolve to see me through whatever situation I find myself in. I want them to treat me with respect and human dignity. I want to feel their care, and I want their care to make a difference for me. I want to know that I am not in this alone. This is what I want when I am in need.

I have re-learned a very powerful lesson this week:  What I am looking for from a friend is the same as my original desire to help and care for others in need.  When I am feeling unloved and unappreciated, I just need to stop my reactive beast within and reconnect to my passion. I need to be caring to feel cared for. That means giving to others exactly what I am looking for myself.  On my path to satisfaction, I need to be the friend I want to have.

ACTION:
Today and every day stop and reconnect to your original desire to work in healthcare. Use the “TIME OUT” Tool to unwind your tangled desires and overcome what is getting in the way of what you really want.:

Get your copy of "Back from Burnout: Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care" at amazon.com

Get your copy of “Back from Burnout: Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care” at amazon.com

1)      Become aware when something happens that pushes your reactive button.
2)      STOP:  Realize that the problem is not the problem; it is your automatic reaction to the situation that is the problem. You may be “right,” “hurt,” or “angry” – but needing to be these things only prevents you from finding a creative solution, from coming up with a thinking-feeling response that has the power to change the situation and make everything better.
3)      Identify your reactive thoughts/feelings (like, “I deserve better”) and make the choice to inject a new positive thought (such as “be the friend you want to have”) that will empower you to be the cause of something new and better.
4)      Finally, speak or act from this new internal quantum space and flip the polarity switch. Make it about them.

Go Ahead. Make your Day. Remember what you really want, and act from there. Do it for you, just to make yourself better! See if all those things you attached to that initial pure simple desire to care and make a difference – like appreciation, respect, and the feeling of satisfaction in a job well done – show up too.  But this will only work if you unravel your attachments from your desire. The results will be incredibly delicious and fulfilling.  I promise!

Thank you, Storm.

Dr. Frank

To Love Somebody

SOS CLASSIC To Love Somebody

Every person we meet in a day – whether a patient, friend, co-worker or family member – provides us with an opportunity to earn our satisfaction. All we need is to connect with our true and simple desire to help so we can see the hurting person in front of us, then the actual care giving will be easy. — SOS Classics are reprints of Shot’s of Satisfaction that Dr. Frank Gabrin shared as he wrote his works Back from Burnout, Care 101 and Booster Shots. Each shot contains a glimpse of Dr. Franks personal journey back from burnout. Find out more at clear2care.com.

Each Shot of Satisfaction is related to one of the seven steps in the process of REFLECT. My hope is that, by sharing with you how I apply these steps in my daily life, it will help you on your journey to a fulfilling life of caregiving.

Step 3 – FORMULATE your plan. Recalculate the transaction of care using the Perfect Equation. Free yourself from your hidden agenda

 

Originally published March 24th, 2011 (edited)

To love somebody

We shouldn’t need a reason to love someone. I don’t mean just romantic love. I’m talking about the simple love we have for a neighbor, a friend or even a total stranger. It is our loving of someone and truly caring for them that makes us feel good – and it is part of the reason we work in healthcare. We find satisfaction in caring for others.

The only thing that can keep us from getting this satisfaction is when we don’t express our care. When we aren’t caring for the person in front of us and treating them with human dignity, it’s because, for some reason, we’ve judged them to be unworthy of our care.

But the truth is, ALL humans are worthy of love, kindness, care and compassion.

Every person we meet in a day – whether a patient, friend, co-worker or family member – provides us with an opportunity to earn our satisfaction. All we need is to connect with our true and simple desire to help so we can see the hurting person in front of us, then the actual care giving will be easy. Instead of letting our judgements get in the way, we need to look for a way to care for them as if they were our favorite uncle!

So how do we get past our judgments? First, we must recognize that our judgements are based on a limited vision that allows us to view only a small part of the Big Picture. This will help us to set our judgements aside. Then we need to put on those rose-colored glasses and see the good in everyone.

And if you can’t see the good? Love the person in front of you anyway – just because. Love them for the opportunity they are giving you to do what you love, to share and make a difference. Remember, their presence in your day is an essential ingredient in the recipe for creating personal and professional satisfaction.

TAKE ACTION

Today, look for when your judgments are holding you back and choose to let them go. Treat everyone as you would your favorite uncle. Love them anyway. See what happens to your personal experience of satisfaction as your acts of caring stack up one on top of another. You may never want to stop!

All the best,

Signature

Frank D. Gabrin, D.O

Get your copy of “Back from Burnout: Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care” at amazon.com

 

SOS Classic – Taming the Beast

SOS Classics are reprints of Shot’s of Satisfaction that Dr. Frank Gabrin shared as he wrote his works Back from Burnout, Care 101 and Booster Shots. Each shot contains a glimpse of Dr. Frank’s personal journey back from burnout.

Originally published January 19th, 2011 (edited)

 

 

Shot of Satisfaction Classic

 

Each Shot of Satisfaction is related to one of the seven steps in the process of REFLECT. My hope is that, by sharing with you how I apply these steps in my daily life, it will help you on your journey to a fulfilling life of caregiving.

Step 3 – FORMULATE your plan. Recalculate the transaction of care using the Perfect Equation. Free yourself from your hidden agenda.

 

I’m Sorry, but the Restaurant is Closed!

We are nearly one month into the New Year and the New You. How is it going with your resolutions? Are they proving to be tough to maintain?

Did you let someone push your angry button already? Did you have a drink or eat too many carbs? Did you “forget” to exercise? Did you have a cigarette? Which one of your addictions were you unable to resist? The temptation to fall back into our old patterns is strong. Still, what are these magical powers that television, the other person, the vodka or the chocolate cake, have to keep us down?

Our beast within

First of all, let’s get something straight. Our battle is not with the person who made us mad, the vodka, the chocolate cake or the ice cream. Our battle is not with the couch or the TV when we feel too lazy to get to the gym. Our real battle is with that force inside us I like to call “the beast within” – the reactive part of our human nature that seeks instant gratification.

The beast within is the voice that tells you, “What’s the use in trying, you will never win.” The voice of the beast is so insidious that sometimes you think it is you. The voice can also be so subtle that sometimes you don’t even hear it until you have already fallen and the voice is mocking you and making you feel guilty. In our battle to fulfill our resolutions, our true opponent is this inner beast, this desire for instant gratification that is part of our human nature, that we are really fighting against.

Taming the beast

With a little practice though, we can begin the process of taming this little beast. We start by observing our own negative self-talk so we can begin to recognize its voice. Then, when we fall, and we will, we need to pay attention to what triggered us. The process of falling doesn’t have to keep us down. Just by becoming more aware of how we fall gives us the ability to become stronger and more adept at fighting our beast within. Ultimately, armed with this awareness, we will win the war to tame the beast and become whatever it is we want to be.

The next time you recognize the voice of the beast within, just tell it, “Sorry, this restaurant is closed. There is nothing for you to feast on here! Now go!”

TAKE ACTION

When you hear that voice in your head, recognize that it is not you. It is the beast within. Tell the voice the restaurant is closed. Then rush to action.

Step outside your ordinary self. Do whatever it takes to get what you really want. That is where true and lasting satisfaction comes from. Taming the beast within will give you the strength to emerge from life’s battles victorious, happy and proud to be you.

So what if you fall. Don’t stay down. Get up, rise above and move forward.

Don’t ever give up!

Signature

Frank D. Gabrin, D.O

Back from Burnout:  Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care

Get your copy today at amazon.com
Get your copy today at amazon.com

 

SOS Classic – The Best New Year Ever!

SOS Classics are reprints of Shot’s of Satisfaction that Dr. Frank Gabrin shared as he wrote his works Back from Burnout, Care 101 and Booster Shots. Each shot contains a glimpse of Dr. Frank’s personal journey back from burnout.

Originally published December 28th, 2011 (edited)

Shot of Satisfaction Classic

Each Shot of Satisfaction is related to one of the seven steps in the process of REFLECT. My hope is that, by sharing with you how I apply these steps in my daily life, it will help you on your journey to a fulfilling life of caregiving.

Step 1 – FORMULATE your plan. Recalculate the transaction of care using the Perfect Equation. Free yourself from your hidden agenda.

 

Let’s all have THE BEST (most blest) New Year EVER!

Well, it looks like we made it through the the holidays! Yeah! And now, we face a brand new year. A year full of possibilities when we can truly create our dreams and re-create ourselves.

Whenever you hit the drawing board again, it is always nice to start with a clean slate, fresh and new. We all want to be ready to make this the best year ever, so what better time than now to clean out our “grudge” list? That list of all the people we feel wronged us somehow this year, or in years gone by.

Staying stuck in our story

What’s the problem with holding a grudge? When we make the decision not to forgive someone, we make them into a source of negativity in our life. We give them the power to make our life worse. We fuss and fret about how badly they treated us. We look for people to collude with us. We want to blame our lack of whatever, on them.

We use them as a scapegoat. We blame our failures and our misery on them, rather than taking full responsibility for our own lives. We limit ourselves by staying stuck in “our” story when we could be using that energy to write a whole new story with a really happy ending.

A few years back, I struggled with a situation where I felt stabbed in the back. Things got so bad that I quit my job, sold my house and left everything behind to start anew. It turns out this was one of the very best moves I could have ever made, and the blessings and miracles that happened as a result of that choice, could never have happened had I not made the decision to leave.

There was one person who, in my mind, was the ringleader who turned others against me and who I believed was singularly responsible for betraying me. The one who I felt forced me to make the choice to leave. No matter how hard I tried, I just could not forgive this man. I wanted revenge. I still played with the idea of a lawsuit. How dare he?! It was all I talked about. It was all I could think about.

Imagine God telling it

Then one day, a very good friend of mine, tired of hearing me sing that same ole’ song, asked me if I really wanted to forgive and let go (you see, letting go is the secret to all miracles). To help me let go, my wise new friend told me to sit down, relax and close my eyes. He asked me to see the villain in my movie, my arch enemy, my biggest grudge, sitting down with God the Creator himself, before he incarnated in this lifetime, going over the plan for his life, one last time – a sort of dress rehearsal.

First, you are going to marry a woman named Sue. You will have 3 children, 2 boys and a girl. You will go to college. You will become a doctor. You will find the cure for cancer. God was going over every detail, and then I heard God say, “Now, by the way, you are going to become very good friends with a guy named Frank. He is a doctor that you will work well with.”

You are going to love everything about Frank and the two of you will have many good times together. But Frank is destined to do and have more in this life than he has when you meet him (when the two of you seem to be having such a great time together). Frank is so comfortable and happy with his life at that time that he doesn’t really want anything else.

God goes on to say (now listen carefully): I need you to betray Frank in the worst possible way, so that he is so ashamed and humiliated that he has to pick up and leave that life he thinks he loves and move on. The hurt has to be so deep that he will want no part of his old life. I need you to hurt him so badly that he will hate you.

Now listen son, I really need you to be strong for me here, no matter how much he hates you, you have to do this, because unless you do, Frank will never go on to meet his true destiny. Frank will have settled for less. Frank will essentially be a failure in this lifetime. So I need you to be very strong and no matter how much it hurts you to hurt him – you must! For only if you do, will Frank be able to achieve his full potential. And with that, I heard my ex-friend say: “I promise, I will see to it that Frank get’s it!”

When I was able to see that without his betrayal I would not be who I am today, or be heading towards who I can be tomorrow, and that it was painful for him to hurt me (that he just did what God asked him to do), I was able to not only forgive him, but also to feel compassion for him and to want the very best for him. This visualization was very powerful and healing for me. Doing it has brought even more miracles into my life.

Rewriting our story

No matter whom it is you feel hurt or wronged you, try to see them as an extension of the Creator, as the hand of God. When a particular person touches a very sore point within us and we are triggered and filled with great emotion, we become blinded or consumed by anger and our life feels ruined. If, instead of staying stuck there, we tried to imagine that this particular person is doing what God asked them to do, we could then see how this person is acting as the hand of God to push us out of our comfort zone. By seeing them as pushing us toward a better version of ourselves and toward a better life, it becomes easier to let go of the grudge. Now that would be a miracle indeed!

Holding onto my grudge me consumed with negativity. By rewriting my story, all of the energy I was investing in the grudge – thinking about it, ruminating about it, plotting my revenge, telling others about it – was now freed up so that I could invest it in making positive changes in my life. What grudges are holding you back?

As we begin a new year, how great would it be if we could all free ourselves from anger and resentment, negativity and grudges? Imagine what we could create, with all that wasted energy, for ourselves and the world!

TAKE ACTION

Make a list of everyone that has caused you grief this year or in years past. Then, set the task of sitting down and forgiving each and every last one of them. OK, if there are too many, then pick the top ten biggest hurts.

Find a comfortable place, sit down, light a candle, and put on some music if you wish. Pick a person from your list. Close your eyes and imagine them talking with God prior to coming down to this world. Hear God telling them how one of their jobs will be to hurt you so that you will do the hard work of personal transformation and change. Hear God tell them that these actions will be necessary for you to make the changes you need to achieve your true destiny, meet your soulmate and live your best possible life. After you begin to feel the power in this and see the good that came from it, thank the person for all their effort.

Let’s all see what we can do with all the energy we free up when we rewrite our story, forgive and change our world!

C’mon, let’s make this the best year EVER!

Rewrite, forgive, forget & let go,

Signature

Frank D. Gabrin, D.O

Back from Burnout:  Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care

Get your copy today at amazon.com
Get your copy today at amazon.com

 

Hardwired to Care

Shot of Satisfaction Quote

Each Shot of Satisfaction is related to one of the seven steps in the process of REFLECT. My hope is that, by sharing with you how I apply these steps in my daily life, it will help you on your journey to a fulfilling life of caregiving.

  In this weeks Shot of Satisfaction video, Dr. Frank Gabrin, the author of Back from Burnout, shares with us how gratitude and appreciation can shut down negativity and boost happiness.

In this weeks Shot of Satisfaction video, Dr. Frank Gabrin, the author of Back from Burnout, talks about the pain we feel when we lose a patient and shares why it’s important for our own wellbeing to step deeper into our connection with those they leave behind.

 

Step 3 – FORMULATE YOUR PLAN for getting the satisfaction you crave, the fulfillment that comes from caring.  Recalculate the transaction of care using the “Perfect Equation.”  You giving, and your patient’s receiving, True Care adds up to the energy of real and lasting satisfaction in the quantum world of thought and emotion. Free yourself from your (hidden) agenda; the thank you, the kudo, or even the “5” on the Press Ganey Survey they will be receiving in the mail next week. The good feelings you want can only come from freely giving care to your patient without the expectation of anything in return.  The only reason to care is because it feels good and giving care allows us to live our lives at the intersection of meaning and purpose.

 

 

Hardwired to Care

Working in the Emergency Department is challenging always, no matter who you are or what position on the team you play. This past week, the volume and the acuity were both very high, and as weeks go, this one was more challenging than most.  As the days went on, I found myself struggling emotionally; low energy, low enthusiasm, and happiness seeming very far away and tough to access.

When the volume gets high, and the acuity makes things more complex, I often times find it difficult to get away from the phone calls and the computer work that is necessary to coordinate medical care for my patients. This makes it more difficult  for me to spend time at the bedside.  Often I have to rely on nurses and techs to get information to my patients that I can not deliver myself.

Seeing the why

Reflecting back on the past week, I realized that the reason I began to fatigue emotionally was because I was not making the effort to spend more time at the bedside in connection with my patients and their families.  Delivering the intangible thing called care is a process. If I want to feel good as a result of that process, I have to complete, or go through all stages of the process.

I recognized that I have developed a negative pattern that I default to, especially when I start to feel overwhelmed at work: I get preoccupied with myself and what I have to do.  While I make a strong effort in the beginning to connect to my patients and let them know that I will do everything I can to help them, when the results come back, and it time to administer the treatments and make disposition, I often fail to get back to the bedside to let them know what is going on and what will happen next.

Inevitably, when this is happening, nurses come to me to let me know that the patient or their family would like to see me before they go home or upstairs to an impatient bed.  I am already feeling like I am being pulled in a thousand different directions, and almost always feel overburdened by making the trip back to the bedside.  So when I get there, I give them very tangible information about their situation but I almost always miss the opportunity to complete the intangible process of caring for them.  When I do this, the one I hurt the most, is myself.

Completing the process

There is a big difference between empathy and compassion emotionally.  When I first meet the patient, when any of us meet the patient, we automatically empathize with them.  We can’t help it.  It is part of our basic human physiology.  We are hardwired to empathize.  But empathy is a state of shared suffering.  A state were we feel the pain, emotional or physical, the angst and the confusion of our patient.

Without staying in connection with my patient, and making the conscious effort to move from the state of empathy where I feel bad for them, to the state of compassion, where I want only the best for them, for them to feel better and be better,  I remain in their suffering.  I can only escape these negative emotional effects if I move out of empathy into compassion and take action by saying or doing something the will make things better for them.  I can only do this if I make the effort to get back to the bedside to complete the encounter by completing the process.  I can only feel better through generating compassion and taking compassionate action.

The process of True Care

So for all of us, it is important to remember that if we want to feel the satisfaction that is available from our efforts to care for another, we can only feel better ourselves if we move through the entire process.  Here is the process we can move through in the energetic world of human thought and emotion in order for our care to be effective and mutually satisfying.  There are six steps to the mindful process of generating true care.

1. Presence: Show up and get fully present. Look at the thoughts going on inside your head and put aside the ones that don’t have to do with what’s going on right now—those distracting thoughts of the work that’s waiting for you or unfinished business at home. Now focus on the patient in front of you. Give him or her your full and undivided attention.

2. Connection: Connect with your patient. Introduce yourself and ask the patient’s name. I often ask patients to tell me something about themselves that will help me remember who they are. Sometimes I shake their hand or touch their shoulder. I make eye contact as I ask what’s going on with them, how are they feeling, where is their pain?

3. Focus: Make your patient’s needs your focus. Put his fears, concerns and needs in front of your own. Show him some real human dignity. Remember, you are human too, and both of you deserve human dignity and human kindness.

4. Empathy: Start to imagine what this situation is like for her, what it would be like to walk in her shoes. Feel your patient’s pain as if it were your own. Stay in this uncomfortable empathetic place with her until you feel things change—without offering to fix anything.

When your patient recognizes that you are feeling, at least to some extent, what he or she is feeling about the situation—that you understand the anguish or pain, something shifts in the quantum energies you are sharing. It shifts for you both, and you will sense it—or perhaps even hear or see it: a sigh, a sob, a relaxation of breathing, a softening of a fretful look, a slowing of the pulse.

5. Compassion: Now, you make the conscious decision to leave this painful place you share with your patient by turning on your own compassion. Feel your own desire for things to be better for them; for them to feel better, for the pain to lessen, their fear to dissipate, their anguish or their despair to soften. You do not yet speak or do anything. You just be. You are still only working with your thoughts and emotions, using your heart and mind.

This stage of the process will enlarge you, energize you and empower you. This is where the transaction of care occurs. This is where your mind affects matter, specifically the grey matter in your prefrontal cortex, and all the dopamine-rich feel-good life-enhancing centers light up like a Christmas tree on real-time MRI scanning.

You are in effect using your heart and mind to generate the Milk of Human Kindness (a special recipe of neurotransmitters) in your own brain, and this process, somehow, most probably through the scientific principle known as resonance, makes you and your patient both feel better.

This stage of the process is where you get to feel on a visceral level that you care, that what you do matters, that you make a difference and that you matter. This is the cure for your own compassion fatigue and (if compassion fatigue is left untreated too long) for your ultimate professional burnout.

6. Action: Finally, once you feel full of your own compassion, move on to the practical physical matters that will help make your patient’s situation better or at least more tolerable.

TAKE ACTION

If you are feeling drained and depleted, ask yourself, are you completing the transaction of care?  Are you making the effort to move past the pain of empathy to the joy of compassion?  Take a look at the six steps above and remember care is a process and for it to be effective we can only hope to feel better is we move through all six stages, and this takes real effort, especially when we are already feeling overwhelmed.

This week make the effort to do better, feel better and be better through the process that ends with compassion and compassionate action.

Care, make a difference and change (y)our world-

Signature

Frank D. Gabrin, D.O

 

 

Back from Burnout:  Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care

Get your copy today at amazon.com
Get your copy today at amazon.com

SOS Classic – Burning Desire

SOS Classics are reprints of Shot’s of Satisfaction that Dr. Frank Gabrin shared as he wrote his works Back from Burnout, Care 101 and Booster Shots. Each shot contains a glimpse of Dr. Frank’s personal journey back from burnout.

Originally published January 19th, 2012 Shot of Satisfaction Each Shot of Satisfaction is related to one of the seven steps in the process of REFLECT. My hope is that, by sharing with you how I apply these steps in my daily life, it will help you on your journey to a fulfilling life of caregiving.

Step 3 – FORMULATE your plan. Recalculate the transaction of care using the Perfect Equation. Free yourself from your hidden agenda

Burning Desire

Happiness requires authenticity and is obvious to everyone. When we are truly happy, others can tell right away. While you may be able to fake an orgasm, like Sally did when she met Harry, you can’t fake your happiness. We are happy when the desires inside our heart match the life we are living. Happiness exists in us when we see the results in our lives we are looking for as a consequence of the energy, the effort and the actions we have invested in our process. In other words: We are happy when the sincere desires we hold inside us, that image of our best selves, match the actions we do on the outside. To be happy, requires our lives to be coherent and congruent to our desires, thereby free from pretense, affectation, or hypocrisy.

We can only fool ourselves

In reality, we can only fool ourselves. I can wear all the black I want, because when I look in the mirror it seems so slimming, but I will never really be able to hide the 30 extra pounds I am carrying around my midsection from you. I might be able to hide it from me, but not from you. You can see it. Just as you can also see when I am really happy. For each of us, there exists a gap between our some of our deepest desires and what we are experiencing which is, in effect, a disconnect between who we really are and who we are actually being. I see myself as compassionate, yet I get irritated when you ask me for help. I say I want the salad, but I choose the burger. Why am I not making the better choices that will let the hot, passionate, vibrant, lean and muscular doctor inside this fat and lazy body be seen? Why don’t I make the proactive choice in the moment? Why don’t I figure out a way to take that chaos out of my life? I know what the right choices are, yet I don’t always seem to make them. Am I the only one who has this problem?

Settling for less

Too often, we settle for too little and until we come to the deep and profound realization that this is what we are doing in the moment, we will never be able to do use our knowledge to make the choices that match our true selves. Don’t stop smoking for your health because you don’t want to get cancer. Don’t stop drinking because you are afraid to get cirrhosis of the liver. Don’t stop gambling because you are afraid to loose all your money. This approach of fear of consequences is never, ever, successful. The better approach is to ask yourself, is this who I really want to be? Is this the best self that I know I really am? Am I being true to my deepest desires for me? There is so much more that we can have in life than that stupid cigarette, that fancy apple martini, or a weekend in Las Vegas and too often we settle for five minutes of a high or a weekend fantasy of fun instead of going for real and lasting fulfillment. Until we all recognize this settling for less in our behavior, we will not be able to stop the chaos, the garbage, the frustration, or the underlying unhappiness we have (with ourselves) for not living up to our potential….. none of the negativity or frustration we feel will not stop. It is just simple cause and effect. The truth of the matter is, living our best life is all about our desire to be our best selves. How much do you want for yourself? How big is your heart’s desire?

Who are you, really?

Truth be told, I have been personally struggling with happiness right now, that is probably why I am discussing it here. I see that I am not being the man I want to be. In many areas of my life, I am falling short and at the end of the day, I come up empty. Last week I talked about choosing happiness by making the choice to invest our energy, the energy of life itself, into the process of life, thereby becoming the cause of our happiness rather than be dependent on our outcomes or the stuff in our lives. This week I really got that, when I settle for less from myself, I am giving up my power to create my happiness. I personally will not be successful unless I want more and my intentions and actions match my heart’s desire. I will be successful when I understand that I can have so much more. I will be successful when my desire to care, to make a difference in the lives of others, is big enough that I can actualize it and actually change the world. My intention cannot be to make money, be special, or feel like a man. Those sorts of desires are not big enough to get me to the place I want and need to be. My intention has to be to fulfill my highest self, to make a difference in the lives of others, to give and to be the one who really cares, and to authentically happy. In order for all the good things I want to happen to me, and more importantly, for me to really be the good and decent man I want to be, I have to recognize that I live in two different realities. The world inside my head and heart, and my daily reality. I have to begin to choose actions for myself that create a greater resemblance between these two realities that I exist in on a daily the basis: The reality that my heart and my soul want me to be living, and the world that I have actually created for myself (the reality I am actually living).

Bringing the inside out

Everywhere that we are stuck, everywhere where we say one thing and do another, we need to remember that the only solution to get unstuck is to amp up our desire to be our best self. We need to want it more, to want it so bad that it hurts. If we really want to live successful lives, we need to want be our best self that we can be, to do and create more. We need to remember that we already have a greater capacity than we are using and that we can choose to bring out our innate abilities to have more in daily our lives. Until we get this, we will not be able to stop ourselves from making bad choices, choosing the lesser of two evils, and we will not be able to recover or come out of the chaos. I have to put effort and inject energy into my process so that the outside will look a little more like the what I see on the inside. In order for the good things to happen to me, these two pieces of me have to become more unified, more like one another. I have to bring the inside out! We all need to identify those areas in our lives where we need to bring these two versions of ourselves together as one. We all need to remember that we can create what it is that we really want for ourselves, when we work to make the outside match the inside. This is what it means to be self actualized, and how we truly have lasting fulfillment and happiness. We all need to refocus our efforts to live our lives in a way that reveals the better version of our selves we carry around on the inside. We need to become aware of where we are settling for less and make different choices in our lives so that our dreams, desires, aspirations, wisdom, understandings about life, and our connection to others, will actually be in harmony with the way that we are living and conducting our lives. We need to create congruence and coherency by becoming more of our authentic selves so that the good things can happen to us and for us. When we create greater unity within our inner and outer realities so that our choices and our actions manifest our authentic inner best self, when we feel this union, we can begin to happily walk our talk. The more energy we put into this process, the less fragmented and disjointed our two worlds will become and we will begin connecting the dots so that we can finally live the big picture we see for ourselves.

TAKE ACTION

Bring the inside out! Commit to doing something that can close the space and bridge the gap between your two worlds, the world inside (who you want to be) and the outside world (who you actually are). Lets walk our happy talk! Find that one place where what you continually say or do is in direct opposition to what you think or believe about yourself. Recognize your hearts true desire and get what you really want by making the needs of your heart more important than the immediate circumstance and give yourself some old fashioned true care. Invest your energy to make what you want and what you are doing the same! When we can give true care to our fondest dreams and desires, we will find it easy to live from our passion and create the world we dream of living in. When we actualize our inner-selves, we will be making this world a better place.

Signature

Frank D. Gabrin, D.O

Back from Burnout:  Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care

Get your copy today at amazon.com
Get your copy today at amazon.com
Shot of Satisfaction
Antidotes for Burnout and Compassion Fatigue
Thursday, December 17, 2015
A Pot of Gold

Each Shot of Satisfaction is related to one of the seven steps back from burnout in the process of REFLECT. My hope is that, by sharing with you how I apply these steps in my daily life, it will help you on … Continue reading